Rogueywon Comments

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  • Final Fantasy 13-2 PC has most, but not all, the console DLC

  • Rogueywon 20/11/2014

    @markotodorovic The AKB48-designed costumes. No doubt a licensing nightmare.

    You aren't missing much.
    Reply +6
  • Video game price rises spark UK inflation bump

  • Rogueywon 18/11/2014

    @MadAngryGamer I still have a box of old PC games somewhere (probably in the parents' attic) with price stickers on the boxes. The likes of X-Wing, Gunship 2000 and F117 Stealth Fighter were all selling for 45 each on PC in the early 1990s. Console games were typically up to 10 more (often for very short games).

    Games got cheaper through the late 90s and the 00s because the huge increase in the percentage of the population that bought games allowed publishers and retailers to compete on price at lower and lower levels, even though development costs were rising. So margin-per-copy fell, but the number of copies sold increased dramatically.

    This was already starting to break down during the last console generation. The Wii's early success was actually a high watermark in terms of the size of the gaming population - since then, things have been steady or perhaps even declining slightly.

    So with development costs continuing to rise and overall sales levels fairly static, a price rise at the till was an inevitable consequence.

    Japan got this years ago - their gaming population never increased in the same way as the West's (for various social and economic reasons too long to go into here), so prices there are already extremely high.
    Reply +5
  • Performance Analysis: Grand Theft Auto 5

  • Rogueywon 18/11/2014

    @Burchmore500 I felt the same about The Last of Us on PS3 regarding input lag. The PS4 version fixed it. So fingers crossed. Reply +11
  • Ubisoft launches Assassin's Creed: Unity live blog as devs battle bugs

  • Rogueywon 13/11/2014

    Turning into a disaster of a launch, with myriad bugs, hideous performance issues on all platforms and a lukewarm critical reception.

    Would be nice to think this might be the game that convinces Ubisoft that Assassin's Creed doesn't work best as an annualised series.
    Reply +75
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth review

  • Rogueywon 12/11/2014

    I found the original PC release of this a glitchy, badly implemented mess, where the underlying game struggled to make itself heard over a raft of control and sound issues.

    Spent 4 hours on trains over the weekend, with the Vita version to keep me company. This version is much, much better and is well worth a look.
    Reply +26
  • Just Cause 3 has finally been officially announced

  • Rogueywon 12/11/2014

    @travnail Free to play was the future once. After countless failed F2P titles and millions of dollars of intangible "goodwill" value written off a few franchises, nobody bar a few diehards thinks it is any more. Reply +1
  • Final Fantasy 13-2 Steam release date announced

  • Rogueywon 11/11/2014

    For those interested in the game, rather than commentary on the quality of the port (though I am not defending S-E's dismal porting):

    FF13-2 is substantially better in gameplay terms than FF13. While the core combat system appears unchanged, they've added a lot more depth to it, made that depth available earlier in the game and have made character-customisation more interesting. The flow of the game is also much better than FF13's, with towns and sidequests and whatnot, rather than a 40-hour linear corridor.

    The bad news is that the plot is still a bit of a mess. You do need to have played/endured FF13 to have any chance of following it and even then, it remains overly-convoluted, laden with jargon and lacking any real emotional depth. It is also very much the middle chapter of a trilogy; it doesn't have a real ending. In fact, in the console release, the closest thing to an actual ending (verging on a prologue for Lighting Returns) was reserved for paid-DLC, which was a low move. I'm hoping that DLC is included in the PC release.

    To be honest, the best reason to play FF13 and FF13-2 is Lightning Returns. LR is a really interesting game (one of my favorites of this year); an occasionally rock-hard time-limited action-RPG which melds more than a few Dark Souls mechanics onto the Final Fantasy formula. While its plot suffers from some of the same weaknesses as its two predecessors, it also has much better thematic coherence. It's basically end-times evangelical Christianity interpreted through a Japanese lense; think something like the Left Behind series, but where the saviour figure can be dressed up in a bikini and given catgirl ears.
    Reply +5
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition review

  • Rogueywon 11/11/2014

    Interesting. Normally releasing a game for pre-release reviews this early is a sign of supreme confidence in the scores (Bayonetta 2, anybody?). So an 8 (and not written as an especially "kind" 8 ) is a bit of a shock.

    Still, I've pre-ordered the PC digital deluxe edition and don't regret it - this is one series I want to see through to its conclusion. But it sounds like switching my Nvidia 680 to something more recent really is something I need to do now.
    Reply +2
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare review

  • Rogueywon 10/11/2014

    Oooh, brave... that's EG off Activision's Christmas card list this year.

    For once, I'm actually in the position of liking a Call of Duty game slightly more than EG. I'd have rated this an 8/10 (while Ghosts was a 4/10).
    Reply +71
  • Archon Mode revealed for Legacy of the Void

  • Rogueywon 07/11/2014

    Any release date on this yet? It's the only Blizzard product I'm actually looking forward to right now. Reply +1
  • Face-Off: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

  • Rogueywon 07/11/2014

    PC version has a really extensive range of customisation options - so full marks on that front. The slight risk with this is that it's quite easy, via the downsampling options in particular, to push the image quality to absurd levels that will have even top-end rigs feeling the pain. You can still get a highly satisfactory image quality and a rock solid performance on mid-to-high end machines by backing off on the downsampling and shadow-caching.

    Though this is one of a number of games recently that's persuaded me I need to trade in my Nvidia 680 for a 980 (Shadow of Mordor and Wolfenstein: New Order being the others). Will be ordering one next month, once a shedload of overtime pay I'm due clears.
    Reply +1
  • Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition Vita and PS3 release date announced

  • Rogueywon 06/11/2014

    @abeeken The point where the game makes you kill Duke's two bimbo companions in cold blood.

    At which point, he makes a joke about it.

    Could live with the "cold blooded killing" thing. AvP2, if I remember, had you do the same with somebody who'd been facehuggered. But the joke? That made Duke creepily psychotic.
    Reply +2
  • Rogueywon 06/11/2014

    @smelly I played DNF. It was terrible. It combined the worst elements of modern shooters (2-weapon limits, crap checkpoints, regenerating health) with the worst elements of old shooters (trial and error deaths, unclear progression through levels).

    Oh, and it sucked from a technical perspective and the humour was dreadful as well (Bulletstorm did the same thing much better).

    To say nothing of the randomly inserted nightmare-fuel (in a bad way) moment under the stadium.
    Reply +3
  • PS4 software update v2.01 to tackle Rest Mode problem

  • Rogueywon 05/11/2014

    I don't use rest mode, but have had two freezes on startup since 2.0. Hopefully this fixes those. I appreciate the new features in 2.0, but the patch did need a lot more testing before going live.

    More broadly, I wish that hardware manufacturers would realise that for most users, firmware updates are not an exciting opportunity but a pain in the arse. Larger but less frequent upgrades from all three console manufacturers would be appreciated.

    Nothing worse than thinking I have time for a quick 30 minute gaming spree before bed only to end up losing it to a firmware update.
    Reply +9
  • Handsome Jack will be a playable character in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC

  • Rogueywon 03/11/2014

    @Xyion It's not actually Jack, though. It's the poor guy coerced into playing as his body-double. The back-story audio-logs for him are already in the game.

    Given there's a lot more dialogue from the player-characters in this than there was in BL2, I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how they handle the dialogue between Jack and his disposable double.
    Reply +5
  • Rogueywon 03/11/2014

    Heavily hinted at by some of the audio logs in game.

    Needs some stronger distinguishing features than the core 4 characters, which can feel a little vanilla.
    Reply +4
  • Super Mario Bros. movie originally a "personal, emotional story" between Mario and Luigi

  • Rogueywon 03/11/2014

    Thank you for this article, it is horrifying.

    I now feel soiled and have enough nightmare fodder to last me until at least Christmas.
    Reply +1
  • Sunset Overdrive debuts second in UK chart

  • Rogueywon 03/11/2014

    @kafiota Wii-U games get 1 week in the lower reaches of the top 10 then oblivion. Only Mario Kart has managed a slightly better performance. Reply +3
  • PlayStation 4 sales help Sony's game division to profit

  • Rogueywon 31/10/2014

    @Common_Sense It does... but their currency holdings are more diversified.

    Plus Nintendo as a relatively "small" company with a proportionately large currency reserve is highly sensitive to these things. Sony, as a relatively "large" company with proportionately thinner reserves is less affected.

    This may sound good for Nintendo... but it can cut both ways. If their operating profitability doesn't improve, currency fluctuations (which can go both ways) could have a fairly rapid catastrophic impact on them. The Japanese economy is in slightly uncharted waters at the moment and nobody really knows what's going to happen to it next.
    Reply +1
  • Rogueywon 31/10/2014

    @Common_Sense Nintendo made a substantial operating loss. Its balance-sheet profit came as a result of the currency-trade impacts of the weakening yen due to quantitative easing in Japan (of which more was announced this morning).

    Big picture is as follows:

    - Sony's gaming division is making a profit, but this is being subsumed by a wider corporate loss.

    - Nintendo's gaming division (which is almost the entire company) is making a loss, but this is being offset for the moment by currency fluctuations affecting the company's reserve holdings.
    Reply +2
  • Sony postpones Driveclub PS Plus Edition "until further notice"

  • Rogueywon 30/10/2014

    @Scimarad This holiday season sees Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive and the Halo collection on the Xbox One side, vs Littlebigplanet 3 and a barely-functional Driveclub on the PS4 side.

    Of course, cross-platform games will be better on the PS4, but I'm not sure how many people outside of these comment threads really care about that (and PC versions will generally be better still).

    But it's not inconceivable that MS could turn things around this Christmas. And hey, that's what competition is for.
    Reply +10
  • Rogueywon 30/10/2014

    @kendoji That "not a full priced game" is sat on the shelves in Game and HMV for 50+. Reply +17
  • Rogueywon 30/10/2014

    "Until further notice" has a way of meaning "never" when it comes to PSN delays. Look at the European launch of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, for example. Combined with November's PS+ lineup being undoubtedly the weakest in the service's history (no full-sized PS3 game, a bunch of indie stuff that can be bought for a couple of quid on Steam) and I suspect Sony has a major reputational crunch incoming for PS+. The whole service is starting to feel like a bait-and-switch lock-in.

    At the least, Sony need to think about offering a full-sized PS4 game on PS+ as compensation for the Driveclub debacle. It'd probably be Knack, but that might just about be enough. But what I'm really starting to want now is the option to pay a one-off fee to "bank" the PS+ titles I've acquired so far, while ending my subscription.

    It does rather feel like after a couple of good years, the old early-PS3-generation Sony is back now.
    Reply +17
  • PlayStation Plus' free November offerings revealed

  • Rogueywon 29/10/2014

    If this is correct, then it's the first month in which not one of the platforms has included a "full-sized" title. Generally the PS3 gets one. Reply +54
  • Facebook eyes 100m Oculus Rift sales

  • Rogueywon 29/10/2014

    A lot is going to depend on what kind of level the retail price stabilises at. I'd be interested in trying this - but there's a definite limit on how much I'm prepared to spend to do so. Reply +22
  • Eve Online's Phoebe update could end the mega-battle era

  • Rogueywon 29/10/2014

    I think there's been a growing acknowledgement in MMO spheres for a while that "very large player events" are usually a lot less cool than they sound. When player-counts in one place at the same time during combat get very high, the scope for individual-agency is reduced, not to mention the inefficiencies that creep in from latency and framerate drops.

    Hell, back in the old days of Final Fantasy XI, people on my server used to talk about the "alliance skill penalty" - the fact that once a group grew into an alliance (ie. exceeded the normal party-size of 6), the skill level individual players demonstrated would drop significantly for each additional player. This was due to a combination of factors; latency, screen clutter, targetting difficulties, communications overload and simple complacency stemming from the thought that "with so many other people here, I don't need to try my hardest".

    MMO content in general has recently tended to shift towards smaller group sizes for hardcore content. WoW's focus has generally shifted to 10 man raids. Final Fantasy XIV's hardcore content is pitched at 8 player groups, though there is a small amount of casual content for automatically-grouped 24-player raids.
    Reply +10
  • Nintendo earnings improve, but Wii U and 3DS sales still slow

  • Rogueywon 29/10/2014

    Put whatever gloss on this you want... the Wii-U is still underperforming against sales targets that have already been revised down several times. On the basis of Wii performance, Mario Kart is the biggest weapon in Nintendo's arsenal - and that bolt has been shot now. Smash Brothers isn't even close to being on the same level.

    The decline in 3DS sales is more worrying. Nintendo has survived poor performances by previous home consoles due to massive profits from the handheld sector. If those dry up, then problems over the next year or so could get much worse.
    Reply +3
  • Dying Light no longer a PS3 and 360 game

  • Rogueywon 29/10/2014

    And we finally start to exit the split-generation phase (though it has a few months still to run on the basis of current releases). So it'll probably be around 15 months from the launch of the PS4 and Xb-One before 360/PS3 releases slow to a trickle.

    Last time around, it took just under a year for most of the world to leave that phase behind, though Japan took about 2 years (and mostly transitioned to handhelds to begin with rather than PS3/360/Wii).
    Reply +10
  • Sega role-player Valkyria Chronicles announced for PC

  • Rogueywon 28/10/2014

    @Swooper_D That's my experience as well. By and large, I find Sega tend to do a bit of a rush job on menus etc (some of their PC ports have external configuration utilities and so on), but that all of the features you'd expect are actually there and, once loaded up, the game tends to run pretty flawlessly.

    But to be honest, for THIS game (and this game only), I'd even accept something on the lines of the FF13 PC port.
    Reply +3
  • Rogueywon 28/10/2014

    For me, however good the likes of Gears of War, Mario Galaxy, Forza, Ratchet & Clank and Lost Odyssey might have been, THIS was the finest game of the last console generation. In fact, to my mind, this is probably the finest game that has never been playable on PC (via fair means or foul).

    For those who haven't played it, it's a rock hard turn-based strategy game, with stylish presentation and a light coating of RPG trappings. It was pushed out in the West with next to no marketing (and what little there was made it sound like a normal Japanese RPG). The critics didn't know what to make of it, probably because it's so hard to put into a genre box. But it's fantastic (the sequels, unfortunately, are only "pretty good" due to the limitations of handheld technology).

    There's a real risk that as the PS3 and 360 fade into history but with wholesale PC emulation of them looking virtually impossible, a lot of significant gaming milestones could be lost to history. It's less of a worry for the latter years of the cycle, when almost everything made it to PC, but there are other games from that generation it would be a crying shame to lose. A HD port to a current gen console is a stopgap solution, but a PC version is forever.
    Reply +6
  • Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 enters UK chart in seventh

  • Rogueywon 27/10/2014

    @abeeken My Collector's Edition box had a big 18 on it - but I guess it includes both the original and the sequel, so it's possible the certificate just relates to the "higher" rated game - kind of like how TV DVD box-sets put the highest certificate from their component parts on the front.

    Played a few hours of the sequel - can't say it feels any less... erm... 18ish.
    Reply +9
  • Rogueywon 27/10/2014

    Bayonetta 2 is very good - but it will undoubtedly follow the usual Wii-U pattern of one week in the lower reaches of the top 10 followed by sales oblivion.

    But then, an 18-certificate sequel to a critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful 18-certificate title from several years ago on a console that next to nobody has bought which is typically marketed towards the family demographic is more or less the definition of a "tough sell".

    On that basis, a week at #7 in the charts os pretty good going.
    Reply +23
  • Slender: The Arrival headed to Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

  • Rogueywon 27/10/2014

    It's not a bad game. The same criticism that applies to Alien: Isolation also applies here; it goes on just a bit too long. That said, I loved Isolation and liked this.

    Surprised to see it getting released on the console platforms, tbh. While not even vaguely the developers' fault, the number of US crimes/controversies that the whole Slenderman thing has been linked to would, in the past, have meant at least some of the major platform holders wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
    Reply 0
  • Bungie promises power matters in Destiny's new and improved Iron Banner

  • Rogueywon 27/10/2014

    @erp It's been a term in WoW and other MMOs for a good few years now. Certainly, I remember seeing it used back as early as the Burning Crusade era (circa 2008).

    Also, your profile avatar appears to be from the thoroughly excellent C64 game Creatures. I thought I was the only one who remembered that!
    Reply +8
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas getting Xbox 360 re-release, leaked Achievements suggest

  • Rogueywon 23/10/2014

    Yeah, that's great. Except I traded in my 360 already. If you want to keep old games alive, then port to XB-One/PS4/Steam. Porting to legacy platforms now is a waste of effort. Reply -6
  • Defense Grid 2 review

  • Rogueywon 22/10/2014

    I played the first game to death, including all of the DLCs. My comments on the second:

    - The towers are much better tuned and balanced in the second game. Once you were expert at the first game, you tended to use a very narrow range of towers. The second game makes it much more important to use the full set.

    - The general integration of air-aliens with other aliens (rather than as a distinct type that can only be hurt by certain towers) is a mixed blessing. Air units in the first game tended to be either frustratingly "cheap" (if they appeared early in the mission) or laughably easy (if they appeared late). But the removal of them does just remove a touch of the tension as to when they might show up.

    - The difficulty curve is much smoother in the second game, without the big spikes from the first.

    - The relative lack of new tower types is a little disappointing.

    - Most of the new AI ally personalities don't work that well. The first game had more charm in dialogue terms.

    Overall, I've found the second game better tuned as a hardcore tower defense game, but a bit less atmospheric.
    Reply +13
  • Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition PC/Mac release date announced

  • Rogueywon 22/10/2014

    @sherpa1984 The iPad controls for BG1 were fundamentally broken at launch. They're been improved since then. It's still not as nice as KB+mouse, but it is tolerable now. Reply +4
  • Rogueywon 22/10/2014

    Great stuff. I really enjoyed Icewind Dale; the thinking man's Diablo. I actually replayed it the other year using some third-party mods to make it look a bit nicer and the gameplay still holds up remarkably well. I do hope they do the sequel as well; Icewind Dale 2 was the last and hardest game made on the Infinity Engine and was generally overlooked because it released in such proximity to Neverwinter Nights.

    As an aside, Icewind Dale was one of the first games to be embroiled in a significant controversy over add-on content. Expansion packs were a common concept back then, but the Heart of Winter addon for Icewind Dale came in for some pretty scathing criticism over its length. At only 6-8 hours, it was much shorter than people were expecting (compared to the Baldur's Gate expansion and the main Icewind Dale campaign) and while it added loads of new spells and raised the level cap, the short length meant that there was only limited scope to play around with them.

    So Black Isle put out a free, downloadable "expansion to the expansion" - Trials of the Luremaster. Luremaster was largely built using existing assets, but basically added another 4-6 hours to the expansion's length (and some very tricky areas). Of course, at over 100 megs, it was a seriously big download in the days when most people were still on dial-up internet, so its reception as compensation for a "too short" expansion was still mixed.
    Reply +25
  • Dev behind Paranautical Activity Steam storm resigns, apologises

  • Rogueywon 22/10/2014

    Maybe I'm just a big softie, but if I were in Valve's shoes, I'd reinstate the game at this point.

    The whole incident confirms my view of twitter as the most potent career-suicide mechanism ever invented. Even in my own work life, while I've never come across a case of somebody losing their job due to twitter, I do know people who've been screened out of consideration for jobs they were applying for because of twitter remarks.
    Reply +44
  • Alien Isolation: Corporate Lockdown DLC release date revealed

  • Rogueywon 21/10/2014

    I think I'm at around the half-way point in the campaign now and I'm not sure how much enthusiasm I'll have for DLC. Don't get me wrong, I love the game, but I'm not sure how much enthusiasm for playing more context-free bite sized chunks of it.

    What Isolation has made me wonder is whether you could adapt the style and tone of the game and actually make an Aliens (as opposed to Alien) game that doesn't suck. If you go back to Aliens the movie, the creatures are anything but cannon fodder. Give a marine a pulse rifle and he's still outmatched. By contrast, Aliens games to date have had the player mowing the critters down left right and centre.

    Now imagine an Aliens game where you are armed and your weapon can kill an alien, but where your opportunities to get a kill-shot (ie. you have a bead on the creature when it is far enough from you to get the good long burst of fire it needs to kill it before it or one of its friends can close on you and kill you) are limited. You could probably have no more than 20 or so enemies over the course of the game, but make each one a major challenge in its own right (a la Shadow of the Colossus or something).
    Reply +7
  • The pre-patch Evil Within we hope you'll never play

  • Rogueywon 21/10/2014

    @George-Roper Indeed. On the consoles, the platform owners need to sign off any code to be run on their consoles, which means that getting things through their QA processes (after a game has been through the developer/publisher's own internal QA) is an essential part of the pre-production cycle.

    And historically, platform owners have sometimes been pretty rigorous in what they will certify. That "Nintendo Seal of Quality" has a lot of history behind it, even if it became thoroughly tarnished during the Wii generation. Sony was known for being especially vicious in the early part of the PS2 cycle, when it would refuse to sign off games on artistic as well as technical grounds.

    Nobody likes it when this certification process turns into stealth-censorship (which both Sony and Nintendo have used it as at times in the past). But on the other hand, an overly lax process that results in badly functioning third party games going out the door (like Nintendo in the Wii generation) doesn't do anybody any favours either.
    Reply +1
  • Rogueywon 21/10/2014

    @mode7 The Nintendo that had major day 1 patches for every single Wii-U launch title? Without which some of them would barely function. Reply +9
  • Legend of Grimrock 2 review

  • Rogueywon 21/10/2014

    This very much looks like a similar level of development to "Eye of the Beholder 2" over the original.

    For those who didn't play the old series, the first installment was at heart a relatively simple single-dungeon adventure which hinged around maybe 2 or 3 "big" puzzles and a handful of small ones. Once you figured those puzzles out (and they were not easy and you had no hand-holding), the game was actually pretty straightforward. You could speedrun the original Eye of the Beholder in under an hour if you were so inclined (I did!).

    The second game, by contrast, was a more complicated affair with both more map-specific puzzles and many, many more complex puzzles spanning multiple game areas. In fact, in some ways, there are almost elements of Metroidvania-construction creeping into Eye of the Beholder 2, with the way the various towers of the game-area interconnect and open up over time. Oh, and those multi-area puzzles? Some of them are absolute nightmares.

    So I'll probably give this a go, when I have time. Unfortunately, that's not likely to be soon, as I'm absolutely swamped by both work and games at the moment. But it's definitely on my list of games to get around to.

    But I'm more excited about Underworld. For me, great though the Eye of the Beholder games were, the grid-based design was ultimately a bit too restrictive and they weren't a patch on the Ultima Underworld games. Nobody's really making Ultima Underworlds any more; the market has split between the action-adventures and the open-world Skyrims.

    But if Underworld doesn't go horribly wrong, it could tickle that particular itch quite nicely.
    Reply +1
  • Valve pulls game from Steam following dev's tweet threatening Gabe Newell

  • Rogueywon 21/10/2014

    The article that's sparked this comments thread ends with a question and invites debate. On that basis, it's a bit depressing to read down the comments thread and see that almost everybody who has taken one particular side in that debate (the "Valve over-reacted" side) has been negged, no matter how civil, well written and well argued their post.

    As it happens, I agree with the side that has been modded up (the "Valve was right") side. I believe that in a world where people are free to enter into contracts on their own terms, there's no obligation on anybody to continue a business relationship with somebody who vented about them in that way in public.

    But that doesn't mean that I don't want to read opposing views or that I believe that people are "bad people" for holding them.

    I know it's unlikely that anybody who works for Eurogamer is still reading, but if you are, PLEASE consider removing the neg button from the comment section. You've talked a lot in recent weeks about wanting to improve the quality of online discussion. Removing the neg button is one of the easiest steps you can take to do that.

    By all means, put in a "report spam/abuse" button instead to pick up on the genuine nutters and the people who want to tell you about all the money their aunt has made working from home.
    Reply +3
  • Rogueywon 21/10/2014

    Here's a question for those who complain that Steam is a monopoly: what would you like to see done about it?

    It is almost impossible to imagine any kind of externally imposed regulation. Governments are typically - for very good reasons - reluctant to impose regulation on sectors which provide discretionary luxury goods rather than essential (or near-essential) goods and services. Video games are, without question, discretionary luxury goods. Looking around the world, it's easy to find examples of regulation in sectors like energy, transportation, telecoms, water and so on. It's much rarer to find other sectors regulated. The US monopolies ruling on Microsoft in the 90s reflected that operating systems were becoming more of an essential service than a luxury product, but nobody's ever going to manage to make that case for games. There are sectors where genuinely monopolistic practices are tolerated at the moment (look at the difficulty Tesla has had trying to introduce its direct-retail model in the US in the face of opposition from GM and its ilk) which are much closer to "essential" than video games.

    Also, other than a large market share, Valve display few of the traits of a traditional monopoly. They do nothing to keep new entrants out of the market (they've never tried to sue EA for Origin, or GoG, or any of their other rivals - compare the endless Apple vs Samsung patent wars). They don't try to lock business partners into exclusivity agreements (plenty of games are on Steam as well as Origin, GoG etc, to say nothing of the console platforms). They don't have any rules on timed-exclusivity like MS do with their "Xbox First" policy.

    Rather, their market share stems largely from the facts that a) they got into the digital-games-retail market first and b) they've worked hard since then to remain better than their competitors. Given that the purpose of regulation is to protect customers from "market failure" and given that there is no sign of market failure in digital games retail, the purpose of any regulation would be unclear.

    How would you make Steam more open to competition? You can't force it to change its licensing agreements etc, because those are already doing nothing to inhibit competition. You could force it to raise its prices or put an end to its flash-sales? Perhaps, but that wouldn't be in the consumer interest, and hence no sane regulatory authority would ever go there.

    Indeed, the only thing that regulation of Steam would achieve would be to make life worse for its users.

    Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely not wrong to worry about Steam turning into a monopoly. But looking at how Valve operate at the moment, it doesn't behave like a monopoly. Can we assume that will forever remain the case? God no.

    But - personal view - the only thing that can be done if you do worry about these issues is to use your power as a consumer to shop around. Steam's prices aren't always the best. Sometimes Origin or GoG sales are better value. Or perhaps you're prepared to pay more for the lack of DRM restrictions on a game from GoG. Supporting Steam's competitors is the most effective way to maintain a competitive marketplace. But at the same time, that can only work if those competitors are worth supporting. If they are consistently crummy, consistently overpriced, consistently unreliable or whatever, then supporting them is actually going to harm the consumer interest.

    Like uPlay. That sucks.
    Reply +3
  • FIFA 15 holds off The Evil Within, Borderlands in UK chart

  • Rogueywon 20/10/2014

    @dogmanstaruk It doesn't make it a bad game at all. But the stat does tell us interesting things about who is buying games right now.

    I've posted a few times over the last few weeks that there is a noticable trend for people who have stuck with the "old" consoles to not buy many games. Despite the vast installed base for the 360 and PS3, games sales are much faster now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

    This is, I suspect, because "proper gaming's" equivalent of the free-to-play market's "whales" (ie. the people who buy a lot of games) are all on the higher spec systems now. It's probably no coincidence that one game which is selling best on the older platforms is FIFA - which is selling to the "only buy one or two games a year" market.

    Now, when a game which is available on PC/360/PS3 performs proportionately much better on PC than on the consoles compared with a game which is available on PS4 and Xbox One as well, it does imply that there are people out there who want to play a game on a console instead of a PC for whatever reason (control scheme, monitor vs TV, lack of money for PC spec etc), but aren't willing to take the hit that comes with getting a game for a last-gen console.
    Reply +2
  • Rogueywon 20/10/2014

    Played a few hours of Evil Within and Borderlands over the weekend. Evil Within is pretty good, especially once I used the PC command-console tweaks to actually let me use my whole screen to play it. It does, however, suffer a bit to my mind as being not quite as good as Alien: Isolation. The bit in the first chapter where you have to sneak around chainsaw-dude? It's fairly good, but having done a similar sequence in Alien just an hour earlier, I was conscious of the fact that I was up against a heavily pre-scripted obstacle, not a more sophisticated hunter.

    And Borderlands Pre-Sequel? Given that Borderlands 2 was one of my favorite games of recent years, I'm a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there are some fun ideas and I like the characters and dialogue, but it really does suffer (in the first few hours at least) from poor mission and level design. I'm reminded a lot of the Sir Hammerlock DLC for BL2, which was the weakest of the bunch by some way, with overly-large and insufficiently interesting level designs.
    Reply +4
  • COD: Advanced Warfare a mere 55GB on PC

  • Rogueywon 20/10/2014

    With my PC setup, very large install games like this give me a bit of a dilemma.

    I have a 500gb SSD as my primary drive, which is used to run the operating system, a few core applications and any games that are particularly sensitive to hard disc speed (eg. Final Fantasy XIV, Diablo 3, Watch Dogs). I then have a pair of very large traditional drives, a 3TB and a 4TB, with the former used for media and the latter used as my main games drive.

    Past Call of Duty games haven't really taxed my system or been HDD-speed sensitive. However, as install sizes get very large, the proportion of a game that can be stored in an average PC's RAM (I have 16 gigs, which is probably around average right now) is going to fall. Which means that there's an increased chance of a game needing to access assets from the hard drive during play (as opposed to during a load-screen). With the days when PC games actually loaded assets from optical discs a long way behind us, HDD access is one of the few remaining factors that can cause a game on an otherwise well-specced PC to "stutter" noticably during gameplay. Indeed, the PC release of Watch Dogs suffers from just that problem, which is eliminated by installing to an SSD.

    So very large games like this, especially with otherwise fairly modest requirements like these, are the exactly the kind of thing I would by default want to put on my big 4TB spinny-platter drive. But their very size amplifies the benefits of running from an SSD rather than a spinny-platter.

    Titanfall's uncompressed audio was pure stupidity. Taking a game which was unlikely to challenge even a modern PC, but handing its audio in a way that shifts the stress onto the slowest component in many PCs - the HDD.
    Reply +1
  • Rogueywon 20/10/2014

    Almost as large as Final Fantasy 13 then - and I bet it even supports resolutions that aren't 720p.

    Truly, we live in an age of wonders.
    Reply +45
  • "Majority" of DriveClub owners can now connect online

  • Rogueywon 20/10/2014

    @ibenam There is no free version. There is a version that people have purchased as part of their PS+ subscription and which was, in fact, part of the advertised offer for new PS+ subscriptions when the PS4 launched.

    That's a very important distinction and one which could get painful for Sony.

    They've already reduced the scope of the PS+ version from what was originally advertised. If they fail to deliver it by the end of October, which now looks likely, then they've gone even further into the realm of "false adversiting".
    Reply +2